There is a myth about age discrimination in advertising. Some say that while ‘ageism’ exists in all industries, in advertising it appears to be on ‘steroids’. It is true that if you look at the industry fleetingly, it appears to be flooded with young, hungry creative brilliance. But we all know, dig a little deeper and you’ll that there are professionals in the industry that span the entire age range – from entering the workplace at a tender age, right through to retirement.
When she was appointed as the new CEO at the ACA, Mathe Okaba announced as one of her personal objectives for the body a drive to ensure not only that the industry attracted an increasing number of young talent from all walks of life, but also that these brilliant young minds remain within the agency environment. “I want to show these young creatives – or rather prove to them – that there is long term future in advertising,” says Okaba.
And so the ACA Future Ballers networking and inspiration evenings were born. Tasked with conceptualising a series of events, the ACA’s Portfolio Committee on Education and Training developed the Future Ballers concept into a real world activity, the first of which was hosted by the ACA at the VML SA offices in Sandton on March 20th.
Future Ballers – industry rock stars that have only been in the industry for a few years – were exclusively invited to attend. The objective of the evenings is to offer these young stars the same networking opportunities that seniors are exposed to on a regular basis. These creative leaders of the future are more often than not office bound, with limited exposure outside of their own agencies.
On the night, attendees had the pleasure of listening to a presentation aptly titled ‘Working in Advertising. WTF’ by Doug Place, CMO at Nando’s and 2018 Winner of the Loeries Marketing Leadership and Innovation award. Additionally Atiyya Karodia, Lead Strategist VML SA and a regularly published thought leader with a fresh perspective delivered a presentation on what it is that we truly achieve as an industry when it comes to culture and moving people to action.
“We want to expose the Future Ballers at each event to industry veterans and young trailblazers from the relevant hosting agency. People with interesting stories that inspire and through their presentations reflect that as professionals we’re here to play the ‘long game’,” says Sarah Dexter, Chair of the ACA Education and Training Committee.
Following the very well received presentation, everyone enjoyed snacks and drinks in the bar area, complete with pool table, table tennis and more. Who said industry events were boring!
The next ‘by invitation only’ Future Ballers evening will be hosted by Joe Public in June at their Bryanston offices. If you are an ACA member and have Future Ballers in your agency you know would benefit from attending, please contact Melanie Platt at the ACA on firstname.lastname@example.org today since space is limited.